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Pitchers dominate as Atlanta Braves go up 2-1 in World Series over Houston Astros

<i>Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America/Getty Images</i><br/>Ian Anderson #36 of the Atlanta Braves delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game Three of the World Series at Truist Park on October 29 in Atlanta
Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Ian Anderson #36 of the Atlanta Braves delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the first inning in Game Three of the World Series at Truist Park on October 29 in Atlanta

By Karl de Vries and Ben Church, CNN

Starter Ian Anderson threw five no-hit, scoreless innings to inspire the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 advantage over the Houston Astros in the 2021 World Series, winning 2-0 in Game 3 on Friday.

The 23-year-old dazzled the crowd over five innings, walking three and striking out four, as Atlanta hosted a World Series game for the first time since 1999.

Anderson became just the second rookie to throw at least five no-hit innings in a World Series game — the other being Jeff Tesreau in 1912.

Anderson was then pulled by Brian Snitker as he turned to the bullpen to start the sixth inning.

However, the decision was vindicated after a spotless night for the Braves’ bullpen, with four scoreless innings, two hits and no walks. Closer Will Smith picked up the save with a scoreless 9th.

“You want the chance to compete, especially on the biggest stage like this is,” Anderson told reporters.

“I knew he wasn’t going to budge, it’s hard to. You can’t blame him for going to those guys. Those guys time in and time out get it done.

“And you know they did it again tonight.”

Houston starter Luis Garcia also pitched well, allowing only one run while striking out six in 3.2 innings, but took the loss.

Relievers A.J. Minter and Luke Jackson carried the no-hitter into the 8th before a bloop base hit off the bat of Aledmys Diaz in front of left fielder Eddie Rosario cost the Braves a chance to become the second team in World Series history to throw a no-hitter.

Atlanta scored in the 3rd when Austin Riley lashed an RBI double down the left field line to score Rosario.

The rest of the night was a one-run nail-biter, with Travis d’Arnaud providing much-needed insurance with a 437-foot monster home run to center field in the bottom of the 8th to make it 2-0.

“I think we didn’t swing it for one game,” said Astros infielder Alex Bregman. “I think we flush it and move on to the next day and have a short memory.

“You have to in this game. Give all the credit to them tonight. They pitched their tail off.”

The legendary Hank Aaron, who died earlier this year, was honored ahead of Game 3, with his widow Billye and children Hank Jr., Gaile, Dorinda and Lary taking to the field.

The Hall of Famer’s iconic No. 44 was etched onto the pitch and Hank Jr. threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Braves star Freddie Freeman.

“I got to hug Billye, you know, and tell her how much I missed Hank,” said an emotional Snitker.

Both teams are set to clash again with Game 4 set for Saturday night.

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